How To Open A Jar: Like A Boss

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

In giving you the reader something you could actually find useful, here is a technique I developed that makes opening overly-tight fitting jars rather easy. The method takes advantage of leverage and large muscle groups of your arms to twist off the jar lid rather than relying on comparatively weaker muscles serving the wrists and fingers. It works well for those having weak or arthritic hands.  One only needs to have a secure grip in order to open most jars.

Essentially the technique works by keeping one’s wrists and grip locked while using the strength of the arms and elbows to twist the jar.

The steps are as follows:

Using your right hand grasp the jar. Hold the jar close to your chest then grip the top of the lid with your left hand. Using the correct hand placement is important due to the thread “handedness” or direction of the jar.  Your elbows should be straight out from your body as seen below.

Note that your hands should be straight with regard to your arms. It is important to keep the wrists locked so that the jar will take the pivot and not your hands.

Using your elbows as hinges, press the jar straight out, drawing your elbows inward toward each other. Keep your grip tight and fast on the lid and the jar. This will cause the lid and the jar to rotate against each other in opposition.

Continue to extend the jar outward as far as you can. About three-quarters outward, you will then obtain more force as other large muscles come into use.

The travel distance should be sufficient to untorque most of the tension in the lid, leaving the remaining threading to come off easily.

I’ve found that if one can maintain a tight grip on both the jar and the lid the lid will twist off. This is why it is important the grips remain firm.  In the case where the lid is thin or slippery a rubber lid gripper should be sufficient to mitigate the slippage.  Placing rubber bands around the jar can aid in grip for the right hand.

This also gives me the opportunity to describe an added technique for the case of extremely tight-fitting lids that need some extra help.

Using the same technique above but incorporating the rubber gripper we also use a tabletop having either a sheer, glass, or smooth surface. By placing the bottom of the jar onto the table, one can bear down slightly on the jar to put some additional down-force on the jar.

It is important not to lean too heavily onto the jar for obvious reasons. Use at your own risk and all the legal disclaiming language that typically follows.

So there you have it–something from the Internet you can actually use in your daily life. And for those young guys who hear a knock from the young woman living next door who needs help opening a mayonnaise jar, you can impress her with your jar-opening prowess.

By Darren Smith

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